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Wednesday, 06 January 2016 08:42

RoRo Expo finds new location after Hononegah dome collapse

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The Hononegah sports dome collapsed Dec. 28, 2015 in an ice and wind storm. The Hononegah sports dome collapsed Dec. 28, 2015 in an ice and wind storm. Terry Mayer/staff

UPDATED -- Members of the newly formed Stateline Chamber of Commerce may have felt deflated upon learning the site for the annual RoRo Expo had come down in the ice and wind of a winter storm, but a new location already is in the works.

With the collapse of the Hononegah Community High School Athletic Dome on Dec. 28, the chamber has scrambled to find a new location for one of its more popular events of the year.

The event, normally held at the athletic dome, now will be held at All World Machinery Inc., 6164 All World Way in Roscoe, according to Michael Prosser, chairman of the RoRo Expo Committee. It will take place March 12-13 as planned.

(Newly formed Stateline Chamber rises to the challenge)

Prosser said All World Machinery is an ideal alternative location for the expo.

"We were looking for a local place to hold it. All World Machinery reached out to us. I wanted to keep the event in the Rockton-Roscoe area. (The location) is a perfect fit for our needs," Prosser said. "They offered their facility at no cost. It worked out perfectly."

The expo features informational booths from chamber member businesses, food vendors, demonstrations from local police and fire departments and performances from area entertainment groups. Prosser said he expects more vendors to register for the event after they learn about the new location.

"Normally, we have about 160 vendors. We have about half of that signed up right now, which is normal for this time of year," Prosser said. "I plan to email all the chamber members and inform them about the change of location. Some of the vendors were holding off to see where we were going to hold it. We can squeeze some people in at the last minute, but most people sign up ahead of time."

Prosser said about 7,500 people attend the two-day event each year. He said with the new location, he hopes the expo will attract even more people.

"We’re hoping for more people this year with the new facility," Prosser said. "We plan to do more advertising. We plan to post signs along the interstate. We’re hoping for a bigger draw this year."

Prosser said if the new location receives a positive response, it could become a permanent site for the expo.

"We’re open to that idea," Prosser said. "We were uncertain where we were going to go after the dome collapsed. We have been offered a location. Everything has worked out, so far. We’re excited to see where this event is going to go in the future."

All World moved its global headquarters from Harvard to Roscoe in 2014 and built a new warehouse and distribution facility on Willowbrook Road. near I94.

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